Hitchhiker’s Guide to Third FfD – July 6 Update

VISA PROCEDURES & VISA-ON-ARRIVAL
The Ethiopian Government provided significant reassurances to the ACG regarding VISA procedures and confirmed that a letter was sent to all Embassies to facilitate the process. The following procedures will apply:

  • VISA in countries of origin: All official residents in countries with Ethiopian Embassy/Consulate were invited to apply and collect their VISA before travelling to Addis. Should you still be trying to secure a VISA, please note that the key document to be presented is the FFD3 confirmation letter (by the UN). Do not worry that the letter only refers to the official conference dates (rather than the CSO Forum). The Government reassured us that it is sufficient to successfully apply for VISA. Nationals of countries normally eligible to VISA-on-Arrival are also encouraged to apply for a VISA before the conference, if the country of residence hosts Ethiopian consular services;
  • VISA on Arrival: All official residents in countries without Ethiopian consular services will be eligible to VISA-on-Arrival in Addis alongside all those that would have not managed to complete their VISA procedures before their departure (even if their country of residence hosts Ethiopian consular services). In order to ensure that you do not incur problems with airlines, please download here official letter confirming this special conference arrangement: Note_Verbal_Ethiopian visa on arrival. This letter should be attached to your official UN confirmation letter (the letter is generic so it will only be effective if you show it in conjunction with your nominal confirmation letter). Please make sure you travel with printed versions of both letters in order not to incur in potential difficulties with either airlines or boundary control authorities (remember that airlines will likely be the greatest obstacle);
  • Make you last VISA attempt if possible: While the letter allows VISA-on-Arrival for all registered participants, all those that can still secure a VISA before departure are strongly invited to do so as the airport VISA procedures will likely be congested by the high number of applications to be processed. Failing to do so may involve extremely long waiting time upon arrival.

CSO FfD FORUM PROGRAMME & LOGISTICS
The CSO FfD Forum will take place in Addis Ababa on July 11-12 and will start with an opening reception on July 10 evening (please see advanced programme here).

CSO FfD FORUM REGISTRATION
All those that completed the online registration process have been automatically registered for the Forum. Please note that no confirmation letter is required. At the time of writing, more than 900 registrations have been received. While funding limitations may eventually hinder the participation of many registered participants, it is expected that the CSO Forum will comprise 600-700 participants. The registration process will therefore close on Tuesday July 7, 6M CET, and it will no longer be possible to register after that date. This would allow to finalize the booking arrangements with the conference venue. Participants are invited to check the CSO FfD Group website for additional information.

FfD3 PASS COLLECTION, ACCESS TO VENUE & ACCESS TO SESSIONS
The registration process for the Official FfD3 Conference closed on June 23 and all registered participants have now received their official confirmation letters. Pass collection for FfD3 will take place at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa, starting on July 9 (http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ffd3/conference/host-country/arrival-and-conference-pass-collection.html). The Millennium Hall is very close to the airport and the UN strongly advises confirmed delegates to complete the on-site registration and pick their conference passes upon arrival. Shuttle buses to the Millennium Hall will be organized from the airport and return. We understand that it is nobody’s idea of fun to engage into an addition de-tour upon arrival, particularly if you had a long journey, but we encourage courageous participants to complete this further step before they reach the well-deserved shower and bed rest! Please note that no new registrations will be possible on-site and only participants with UN in possess of UN official confirmation letters will be allowed to pick their badges.

The modalities to access the official conference venue (UNECA) and the actual sessions will be explained in detailed during the CSO FfD Forum. However, please note the following:

  • Opening Plenary (Jul 13 morning): As you can imagine, significant restrictions will apply for the Opening Morning Plenary for a combination of site limitations, overcrowding of cheerleading delegates, and security concerns. The ACG only managed to secure some 50+ passes between the actual plenary and the overflow room. Beyond these few passes, other civil society delegates will not be allowed on site before 1PM. However, the ACG managed to negotiate a large overflow room to webcast the Opening Plenary in the Elilly Hotel, right opposite the UNECA gate. More information will be provided in the coming days;
  • Access to venue: After the Opening Plenary, access to the UNECA conference venue will be allowed for a total of 500 civil society delegates at any given time. A system of floating passes to control the total number of civil society delegates is being coordinated between the ACG, NGLS and FfDO. Considering the actual expected number of delegates in Addis (which will be lower than the registered delegates for the usual reasons) and the fact that most side events take place outside of the UNECA, we do not expect this to offer any significant limitation;
  • Access to conference session: As every good game with progressive difficulties, accessing the venue does not yet mean accessing the conference sessions. There will be access limitations to the actual main plenary (again with a system of floating passes managed by the ACG) but there will be free access to the overflow room (though seating limitations may apply). Regarding the roundtables, only 12 civil society representatives will be allowed (6 speakers and 6 observers). Separate messages have been circulated on the procedure to apply for these seats (please note that deadline is today, Monday, July 6, 6PM CET);
  • Side events: All side events are “technically” open to registered delegates. However, some of the rooms have limited capacity and some of the organizers require confirmation. Please make sure you get more precise information on the events you would like to attend.

SPONSORED PARTICIPANTS
All sponsored participants will receive separate information on accommodation, airport transfer and other related arrangements.

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